Amusing and creepy fiction about the making of F.W Murnau’s classic movie “Nosferatu”. John Malkovich is terrific as the German filmmaker who has to deal with a very difficult lead actor (Willem Dafoe in a chilling performance) who seems to be taking his role much too seriously. The local villagers become anxious about the actor, especially when a photographer becomes dazed and ill. All this will eventually lead Murnau’s people to suspect Max Schreck of being a real vampire. Dafoe’s performance is both creepy and fun to watch; creepy in how he manages to capture the true essence of the vampire, and fun in his own personality and reactions. No one could have pulled it off better than he did. “Shadow Of The vampire” is a must see for anyone who’s familiar with the 1922 film. Of course it’s just a work of fiction, but it brilliantly recaptures the feeling and mood of the orginal work, that you won’t be able to take your eyes off of it. Great stuff.
Fun fact: Based in part upon a legend that Max Schreck was in reality a vampire which is why he played the role of Orlock/Dracula so well. Some variations of the legend suggest that Nosferatu was the only film Schreck made, though in reality he was already a stage and screen veteran by the time Nosferatu was shot, and would appear in many non-Vampiric roles before his death in 1936.